Scrabbling with God: Playing Games and Finding Faith

This story is part of The Fever Dream Series: More than Coincidences, Something like a Dream.

Life wants to show us all something. No matter who you are or what you believe in, you can connect the coincidences in life to form meaning. Intuition, signs, and coincidences are not reserved for one specific religion, faith, or group of people to receive. The world is working to show all of us meaning in happenstance moments. 

Before we jump into the story, let’s dive into some disclaimers.

My intentions are to only to inspire you to look for your own intuitive meaning, not to convince you of any one specific thing. I say this because some of my stories might touch on topics that not everyone believes in, which is totally fine for me. Just because I believe in something, doesn’t mean I want you to believe in the same things. 

Case in point, most people in my life are happily agnostic. A handful of others I’m close with are deeply devoted to astrology. For fun, I studied Judaism and Buddhism in college. So what I’m saying is, I’ve always been open to understanding different religions, spiritualities, and belief systems. Stating these things for you feels important because I don’t want you to be caught off guard by the story I’m about to tell you.

So, let me get something off the table about my beliefs before we get to the story itself. 

It’s difficult for me to claim my faith publicly in these times because I never want anyone to jump to conclusions, no matter what side of the fence you’re on. I will say this, I’m pro-choice, support the LGBTQ+ community, and am truly understanding and respecting of people of all backgrounds. In the same breath, I was raised Catholic and now consider myself a practicing nondenominational Christian. 

One of those sentences potentially put you off in one way or the other. 

This might be contradictory to what some Christians are accepting of, but I’m simply not called to condemn anyone or convince anyone of anything with these stories. I live a life that works for me, but I’m not here to tell anyone how to live their lives. Sure, the story you are about to read is about an experience that strengthened my faith, but moments like this can happen to anyone, no matter your beliefs. Point blank. 

Now let’s get scrabbling. 

In the introduction to this series, I talked about an app I clung to on a daily basis after my best friend passed away. 

Well ladies and gentlemen, what I didn’t tell you was that app was called—wait for it—the Bible App. Yep, my ass sat at a train station every morning before work and read the Bible App like a little ole nun. 

At the time, I was desperate for meaning, searching high and low for a reason as to why I was dealt such an awful hand. It hit me one day that no self help book or podcast would help me better than the OG. I knew there would be seeds of hope in the bible that would give me a reason to live. Because when you live with depression, you are constantly fighting for a will and purpose to survive—especially when life knocks you off your feet. 

So, real shit I read a passage of the bible every day trying to understand how to better live my life and what it was I should do to survive the loss of my best friend. The bible taught me day after day how to pray, how to treat others, how to treat myself, and how to lean on God through it all. I clung to every lesson in hopes it would save my life. 

But please note, I believe many religious scriptures can do this for you. It’s just for me, in my lifetime, I was pulled toward being a Christian. (Additionally on a more important note, in a time of crisis medically treating your mental health is just as important as your self care and religious practices, if not more important. Don’t let anyone tell you different!)

What was weird though was after months of using the app, I abruptly experienced some serious doubts about my faith. Despite being filled with new found hope, my mind started to lead me down this path of questioning my beliefs in the worst way a ‘Christian’ can.

I was doubting the one and only, uhm, Jesus Christ. You know, the Guy that the entire foundation of Christianity is based on? Yeah, Him. And I mean everything from the virgin birth to the whole resurrection thing, part of me became very unsure about it all. 

The one thing you should know is when you’re raised Catholic you’re taught to never question or doubt God. It’s considered hella sinful, blasphemous beyond belief. So naturally, I became terrified for myself. The bible had become my crutch during my time of grief and if I was going to question my faith in Jesus, I figured my life would come crashing down any minute. 

What’s more is I didn’t have anyone to confide in either. I wasn’t going to church at the time and I was mortified to tell anyone I was even reading the bible at that. So, I talked about it to the only person I had, God. I prayed and pleaded about my doubts in hopes that they would just go away. I prayed hard and braced myself harder for what would unfold next. 

During this same time, Brett and I were looking for date night ideas. This will all connect in a sec and come full circle, I promise. We picked up Scrabble from Target one night and went head to head to see who would reign the smarter significant other. 

After a few questionable words were laid out on the board, I saw my opportunity to spell out “SPIRIT” and then re-upped my letters without really paying attention. Brett took his turn, putting an unmemorable word down, couldn’t tell you what it was, but I can tell you I was winning. 

Riding the high, I quickly noticed I had pulled the letters “E” and “D” so I added to the word “SPIRIT” to read “SPIRITED.” Boom, more points. I smirked at him, looked down at my remaining letters, and then suddenly, felt like someone knocked the wind out of me. 

Aghast, I stared at my letters like I had just seen a ghost. Brett asked me what was wrong as I moved my letters around to make sure I was seeing things right. I told him that after I added the “ E D”  to “SPIRIT” to read spirited, I was left with one blank square and the letters “I”, “N”, “R”, “I.”  Chills. I could not believe what I was seeing.

Second guessing myself I asked him, Isn’t “INRI” what was inscribed on the top of the crucifix when Jesus was nailed to the cross? 

Breaking Scrabble rules, I showed Brett the INRI blocks of letters because he was raised Catholic like me. We googled it—great Catholics I know—and confirmed. Then I finally opened up to him about how I was reading the bible, but having all these doubts, and how this undoubtedly felt like a sign. It was one of those moments that will forever move me. Rather than striking me with a bolt of lighting for having doubts, God decided it’d be better to steal the thunder of our date night instead. In that moment, I suddenly felt confident that it was okay to finally lay my faith in something fully for once.

Coincidences are happening all around us, and if you let them, they will fill your spirit with hope—even through your doubts.  

On top of the hope I discovered in reading the bible, this night solidified that I’m here to be a Christian; albeit a progressive one who still claims herself as a Virgo, talks about angel numbers, the stars, and loves a conversation about the universe. It is what it is, this is truly who I am.

Listen, because of my faith some of the coincidences I will be discussing will be Christian oriented. Getting signs is a very personal experience, though. They usually show up in ways that are specifically meaningful to you and what you believe in. 

My intentions aren’t to make anyone uncomfortable, but I can’t deny my God to make everyone comfortable either. If you can continue to read this little series objectively, knowing I’m not trying to make you believe in anything but the fact that hope is out there in plain sight, then I hope you can continue to read along. Regardless, thanks for coming this far.

4 thoughts on “Scrabbling with God: Playing Games and Finding Faith

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